The Art of Lettering by Hand

Ted Profile-02Columnist: Ted Pigott 
Ted's Beyonder Story


As many people, especially those who read this column, probably already know, I like to draw. A lot.




But what might surprise a few people is that I also like to write. A lot.

I actually majored in English Composition at my university, and I have worked as a writer and editor in publishing companies over the course of my working career. I have also worked as a copywriter and communications strategist, in addition to being a freelance writer for more than twenty-five years. Truth be told, my love of writing is one of the main reasons I agreed to write this monthly column for Beyonder Times.




Maybe you could say I’m something of a hybrid. As an artist, I believe in the power of a visual image. And as a writer, I believe in the power of the written word.

Perhaps this why I am so interested in—and passionate about—hand-lettering and calligraphy. To me, it’s almost as if the power and impact of a word, quote, or statement is doubled when it is written in a beautiful or interesting way.






In some ways, I guess we all owe a debt to Steve Jobs. After all, some say it was because he sat in on a calligraphy class after dropping out of Reed College that we now have so many fonts available to us on our computers. And it is fun—and it still amazes me—that we can play around with so many fonts on our computers and mobile devices. In a sense, we all now have the tools to be designers and printers.

Still, though, I guess I must be old school, because I still really like the look—and especially the feel—of real ink on real paper.




The way the ink seeps into the paper.

The little mistakes and imperfections.

The human touch.

Even the risk of miswriting a letter or word and having to start all over again adds a certain level of excitement and frisson to the process.




In my previous column about “Drinking and Drawing the Craft Beer Revolution“, I talked about my “Personal Passion Project (PPP)” of trying to draw every beer I drank for a year (#yearofdrinkinganddrawingbeer).

So, when it came to lettering, I thought—why not start up another Personal Passion Project? I decided to call it “Words for the Week.”




The guidelines were pretty simple and straightforward—every Monday, I would hand-letter up a word, sentence, song lyric, or quote, and then post it to my Instagram account and Facebook Art page, using the hashtag #tedpigottartwords.

My ideas was to create something that would inspire me for the rest of the week. It could be a quote that liked, something I read, a statement I overheard, or a lyric from a song. Perhaps part of a poem or something that was on my mind. Sometimes, it might even just be one word, or words combined with a drawing. Anything that inspired me or had impacted me in some way.



With this project, I also liked the idea of dedicating myself to a fixed routine and regimented schedule. I knew this would give the motivation to practice lettering every week. I hoped it would also encourage me to try new things as well.




Truth be told, I honestly feel as I’m still a beginner when it comes to lettering and calligraphy. But I am a passionate and enthusiastic beginner, and thanks to my “Words for the Week” Personal Passion Project, I have the opportunity to practice and improve every week, as well as share my progress with the world.

So, even though I am writing this column about writing words, I’m going to stop writing so many of them here and simply share some of the things I’ve lettered up.




You see, I truly believe that words can sometimes be most powerful when they speak for themselves.




To see more of Ted’s hand-lettering and Words for the Week, check out his Instagram account or Facebook Art page, or search #tedpigottartwords.


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